Advisory-Based Time Slot Management System to Mitigate Waiting Time at Container Terminal Gates

Ali Nadi*, Alex Nugteren, Maaike Snelder, J. W.C.Van Lint, Jafar Rezaei

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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This paper introduces an advisory-based time slot management system (TSMS) to control truck arrivals at seaport terminals with the aim to reduce congestion at terminal gates. A modeling framework is proposed, developed, and applied to assess the impact of a truck arrival shift for a case study in the Port of Rotterdam. This system is designed to apply control policies on truck inflow while taking the behavioral aspect of truck operating companies (TOCs) into account. Discrete choice modeling is used to infer the time-of-day preferences of TOCs for container pick-ups from the exchange of information between port and hinterland stakeholders. These preferences are used to shift truck arrivals to the off-peak period which consequently reduces the high waiting time of trucks at terminals gates. To evaluate the effectiveness of the designed TSMS, a simulation platform that resembles terminal operations has been developed using discrete-event simulation. For the allocation of trucks to a certain time of day, a choice-based stochastic assignment heuristic is designed to approximate the optimum configuration of the truck arrival shift policy experiment. The optimum truck arrival shift design shows that significant gain can be obtained even at a low shift rate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)656-669
Number of pages14
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • carrier
  • freight systems
  • logistics
  • marine
  • model/modeling
  • optimization
  • port
  • seaports
  • simulation
  • terminals
  • truck
  • trucking industry research


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